Research has associated financial desire discrepancies (the gap between current and desired states) with poorer subjective well-being (SWB). Because acquiring more wealth appears ineffective in decreasing financial desire discrepancies, we examined whether a theoretically meaningful psychological factor, termed mindfulness, would close the aspiration gap by "wanting what one has," and thereby enhance SWB. Study 1 revealed that mindfulness was associated with a smaller financial desire discrepancy, which helped explain a positive association between mindfulness and SWB in undergraduates. Two further studies with working adults showed that these results occurred independently of financial status and changes therein. A final, quasi-experimental study with mindfulness trainees extended these findings. Reasons why mindfulness may help to promote the perception of having "enough" are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported in part by a post-doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and by grants from the Russell Sage Foundation and the Society of the Psychological Study of Social Issues to the first author. We are grateful to Jack Kornfield and the staff at Spirit Rock Center for their assistance in conducting Study 4. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Kirk Warren Brown, Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284. Electronic mail may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Desire discrepancy
- Subjective well-being